Dubai Post 31: The Waterway that Divides the World
As I mentioned, Istanbul is situated on two continents, Asia and Europe. Separating these two areas of the city is a narrow body of water known as the Bosphorus Strait. The Bosphorus connects the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea making it a very strategic waterway to ship goods between Europe and Asia.
|A view of the Bosphorus from a bar at night.|
|The Bosphorus entrance at Dolmabahce Palace.|
|The view from the restaurant where I ate lunch|
in Tokapi Palace.
|A view from a terrace where I grabbed|
a drink under the Bosphorus bridge.
|The main bridge that connects Asia and Europe is the|
Bosphorus bridge (seen behind me).
Lining the Bosphorus along the Asian and European sides are cafes, bars, groves and gardens. I was fortunate to experience these places all weekend long. It is very common for locals to go sit in a café, grab a drink or smoke some shisha while taking in the views of the majestic waterway. Since Istanbul is built into a hilly region, patrons have no problem seeing extraordinary views of the passage from all over the city.
|Traffic is usually awful in Istanbul due to the windy roads. It does|
not hurt to take a ferry as it is quicker and also provides
great views of the shoreline along the Bosphorus.
|A view of the Galata Tower from the ferry. The tower was used|
to watch the water ways for oncoming enemies throughout time.
|A view of the European shoreline.|
|The ferry pulling away from the old city.|
|A view of the Dolmabahce Palace from the water.|
The strategic location of the Bosphorus catapulted Istanbul to becoming a trade mecca as well as the desirable location for empires. Controlling the Bosphorus was essential to the success of both the Ottoman and Byzantine Empire. Evidence of these empires are displayed along the river beds on both the Asian and European side.
|A view of the palace on the Asian side.|
|A boat takes patrons to an island on the Bosphorus where they|
can dine from one of the five restaurants.
|The shoreline running up to the strait.|
|A view of the passage from the Marmara sea.|
|Literally hundreds of cargo ships were|
waiting to get into the strait.
To this day, The Bosphorus Strait remains one of the busiest and dangerous waterlines in the worlds. Cargo ships wait for miles and miles in the Marmara and Black Sea to pass through. It can take days, even weeks for this to happen as a ship must wait for a Turkish captain to navigate it through the passage. For any tourist, the best way to enjoy the Bosphorous is to simply grab a meal and a drink in take in the sights and smells of the salty sea passage.
|A cafe I had breakfast at on the waterway.|
|A view of the Bosphorus from the walkway outside the cafe.|
|As I was eating, a pod of dolphins swam down the seaway.|